When to plant seeds for a new season
May 13, 2020
Growing from seed is my preferred method of growing vegetables and herbs for the many reasons I have previously covered. Growing from seed requires a little extra planning in advance of the growing season. Seed germination can take anywhere from 7-21 days, depending on the seed. When seed has germinated, it then takes additional time for the seedling to develop real leaves and be robust enough for planting in the garden. If this process commences at the beginning of a new season, it may be half way through the season and the far from being productive if you have not planned in advance.
I suggest you sow seed a minimum of 6 weeks in advance of a new season commencing – eg: towards the end of the first month of Autumn it is time to sow Winter seed.
The first step is to be clear about what to plant when. You can find my Seasonal Planting Guide here
The next step is to understand where to plant the seed – eg: indoors or out. My guide for this can be found here.
In summary – plant Spring and Summer seed indoors and Autumn and Winter seed can be outdoors. Each seed variety will germinate when the soil temperature is suitable for it. This is why it is best to raise the seed indoors in Spring in a warm sheltered position, or using a heat pad.
Next, you need to understand the following things to successfully grow from seed – you can read how to grow from seed with success every time here .
It’s very simple, in summary, ensure you are using high quality seed raising soil and that the soil is kept moist (not wet) until the seed germinates.
Now you understand the key elements review the guideline below on how long it takes for popular seasonal vegetables to germinate.
This information will help you to decide the right time to sow your seed so they are ready for planting just prior to, or when the season commences.
Asian Greens: 5-7 days
Broccoli: 5-10 days
Cabbage: 5-10 days
Cauliflower: 5-10 days
Kale: 5-10 days
Peas: 10 days
Spring onion: 14 days
Beans: 8-10 days
Coriander: up to 21 days
Rocket: 10-15 days
Spinach: 5-10 days
Fennel: 10 days
Basil: 10-15 days
Capsicum: up to 21 days
Cucumber: 5-10 days
Eggplant: up to 21 days
Tomato: up to 10 days
Zucchini: 5-10 days
Garlic: up to 14 days (plant directly in the garden)
Leek: up to 14 days
Onion: up to 14 days
Parsley: up to 21 days
Spinach: 5-10 days
The main reasons seed may not germinate are:
It’s time to sow Winter seed today if you have not yet done so!
Find detailed planning and growing information in the Vegetable Garden Workbook
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